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Campaign to get the UN to offer training to livestock owners and landowners in Allan Savory's Holistic Management techniques.

The biggest challenge in implementing Allan's ideas and methods is to get livestock owners and land managers to take up these ideas. To my knowledge Allan's TED talk might be the biggest platform this method and idea has ever had.
Allan and Holistic Management International have a huge amount of resources and teaching methods that they have developed to help people implement this very simple solution. Much of this is documented in Allan's two books as well as other material. However they would not appear to be especially well funded and the cost of the training is reasonably high.
The TED community has the opportunity to ride on the back of the interest this talk will hopefully spark and start a campaign get the UN and other large bodies to offer funding to Savory's organizations to train trainers. Currently the cost of training for Holistic Management International's Certified Educator Training Program is $7,700 which is comprehensive. According to the website there are only 19 approved mentors for this program.
The world is in desperate need of thousands of these educators who are able to spread the word and the ideas in their localities.
The cost of training 10,000 educators in this program would be $77,000,000. On a world scale this is nothing, but the impact these trainers would have would be incredibly far reaching and an extremely efficient use of money.

This is the biggest platform that THe Savory method has ever had and the if the TED community is able to in some way act on this, the results could potentially be astonishing!

Any ideas?


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  • Mar 6 2013: Thanks Margriet.
    I am not saying this hasnt been studied. It has extensively. It has just been found to not work.

    I am a researcher on this topic and I can tell you that it is one of the complete topics that have been researched. It is not only not supported by research but it is conclusively rejected.
    • Mar 6 2013: Donnie Harmel, who was manager and research director at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Texas for many years, set out in 1984 to prove that Allan was wrong. The Kerr is a complex 6,500 acre management unit where research on whitetail deer, Federally endangered Black-capped Vireos & Golden-cheeked Warblers, fire regimes and grazing were Donnie's passion. By the time I met him in 1991 Donnie had become an advocate for Holistic Management. He saw first hand the benefits of planned grazing to the land he managed.
      Among the benefits he documented was a dramatic decrease in soil erosion and increase in effective rainfall. In one small catchment area of less than 300 acres, a hurricane driven thunderstorm dumped 90 million gallons of water over a period of 5 hours. The runoff water was CLEAR and not one crossing fence was damaged. By 1990 browse, grass and forbs had reached a record high in the areas managed with grazing. And vireos and warblers demonstrated huge population increases because Donnie had worked out a way to use the cattle as bait for nest-predating cowbirds.
      Yes, there is a chasm between some of the older research and direct experience of Holistic Planned Grazing. Most of that research looks at HM grazing mechanically - as a recipe, and it is far from that linear.
      • Apr 4 2013: I've just looked at the managment page for the Kerr WMA http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/hunt/wma/find_a_wma/list/?id=12§ion=management_program
        it does not specifically mention Savory or HM but there is a rotation system which involves burning, a short graze followed by 60 days rest. Quite a few other interventions seem to have been carried out. Burning isn't something I've seen mentioned by Savory.

        It seems to me this is typical of lots of management. There is no one formula which can be applied world wide. Each site needs its own management regime. This might be why the academic results are mixed. Its also why a UN resolution is a bad idea. Blindly putting lots of animals on sites would do more harm than good.
        • Apr 5 2013: Richard,
          Allan maintains that fire is ONE tool in the Holistic Management toolbox. I think he would say that in most cases it has been misused and so does not deliver the long term results possible with livestock. It also generates compounds much more damaging to the atmosphere.
          In the case of the Kerr, small controlled burns are followed relatively quickly by livestock, which is a somewhat refined application of both tools that tested out as delivering the complex habitat mosaic that the Kerr is managing for. (FYI, Donnie Harmel died about 10 years ago; and for political reasons Texas Parks and Wildlife is loathe to step into anything appearing to be an endorsement of HM.)
          I agree that each site needs its own management regime. But what we know is that, in seasonal moisture environments, livestock are a critical component of management that fulfill a role other tools do not. Timing of the livestock tool and it's use with other tools varies from site to site.
          Personally, I would not dismiss a UN resolution out of hand. It depends on what it says.

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